UAE's Finablr cuts IPO price in volatile markets

ABU DHABI/LONDON (Reuters) - United Arab Emirates-based Finablr had to cut the price on its initial public offering as the payments and foreign exchange company faced weak investor demand in jittery markets which also rocked ride-hailing app Uber’s Wall Street debut.

Finablr was priced at 175 pence per share, the bookrunner said on Tuesday, significantly below an initially anticipated 210-260 pence range, giving the company an implied market value of about 1.23 billion pounds ($1.59 billion).

Books were covered at full value of the deal worth 192.5 million shares, according to a message seen by Reuters from a bookrunner, which means the share offering will raise about 337 million pounds.

The deal size includes a revised base deal size of 175 million shares and 17.5 million of over-allotment option shares, the bookrunner said.

This came after global stock markets tumbled on Monday as the trade dispute between the United States and China escalated.

In the UAE, where the company is based, both stock markets in Abu Dhabi and Dubai suffered their biggest single-day declines in years due to escalating tensions in the Middle East after several commercial ships were attacked off the coast of the UAE.

Finablr extended the closing of books for the London IPO to Tuesday from Monday due to the volatile market conditions, two sources familiar with the deal said on Monday.

The company, whose brands include UAE Exchange, Travelex Holdings and Xpress Money, has been seeking to raise $200 million from the sale of new stock ahead of a flotation on the London Stock Exchange (LSE).


The listing of the shares is expected on Wednesday, said the sources, who declined to be identified because the information is not yet public.

“The closing of books is extended by a day because of market volatility. Finablr wanted to get the right register,” one of the sources told Reuters.

Finablr’s IPO plans were confirmed last month following the successful public flotation of Middle East payments firm Network International.

The Finablr network has a global reach spanning more than 170 countries and managed $114.5 billion in annual volumes for its clients as of December. Its biggest markets are India, Pakistan, Bangladesh and the Philippines.

The holding company Finablr will become the umbrella for UAE-based business tycoon and founder Bavaguthu Raghuram Shetty’s financial service brands.

Shetty, Finablr’s biggest shareholder, bought UK-based Travelex in January 2015 for 800 million pounds ($1.1 billion). He took another company he founded, NMC Health, public on the LSE in 2012. Like NMC Health, Finablr will have its headquarters in the UAE.

JPMorgan, Barclays and Goldman Sachs are global coordinators for the deal. Bookrunners include Bank of America Merrill Lynch, EFG Hermes and Numis. Evercore is acting as financial adviser.

Additional reporting by Hadeel Al Sayegh and Clara Denina; Editing by Mark Potter and Emelia Sithole-Matarise